All schools have an application form to apply to that college. Although many use their own particular form, many selective schools are now also using the Common Application either exclusively or as an alternative to the schools own form. The Common Application allows students to fill out just one form with all of the basic information and submit photocopies to each school that uses the Common Application. This is particularly useful if you are applying to a number of schools. However, many schools also require supplements to the Common Application and you should be careful if using the Common Application to make sure you have also completed any supplemental forms your school may request.
The issue of when to apply is also an important factor to consider. Here is a resource for further information about early decision, early action and regular decision applications.
As part of the application you will be required to submit at least one and generally several essays on various topics depending on the school where you are applying.
Some colleges require interviews, others encourage them and many don’t even offer them. For those colleges that offer interviews they may be either evaluative or informative. An evaluative interview is one that will be used in the admission decision. An informative interview is used only to provide you with answers to any questions you may have about the college and will not be used in the admissions making process.
Most selective schools will ask for a recommendation from your guidance counselor as well as a recommendation from two academic teachers. Read on for information about the type of information the colleges are seeking from your recommendations.
Make sure any test scores that you wish to be submitted to the colleges have been requested from the testing agency (College Board for SAT scores) or ACT (for ACT scores). Also look here for information about SAT subject tests and AP exams.
You will need to request that the high school guidance office forward a copy of your grade transcript to each of the schools to which you are applying.